Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghosties & pumpkins

A bit of childish excitement today - I carved my first ever pumpkin. When I was little, we used to try and carve swedes. Don't bother trying - hard, smelly in the way that only brassicas can be, and too small to put a candle in. Complete waste of time.

So today, I took advice from friends on Twitter on the best way to carve a pumpkin without removing a limb in the process, and then I carved. He might not be as scary or as complex as some of the pumpkins on websites such as Zombie Pumpkins but I'm as proud as punch.

I was so excited by the result that I couldn't wait for it to get dark and shut myself in the garage with him, a candle and a box of matches.
Hopefully he'll impress the hordes of small children who will no doubt come knocking. I hope some turn up, otherwise SomeBeans and I will have a mountain of chocolatey treats to eat.

Happy Hallowe'en!

18 comments:

Liz said...

Fantastic pumpkin!

I haven't carved one for the past couple of years now... I too did 'jack Pumpkin King'...

Lots of chocolates here too, I have a distinct feeling I'll be on a sugar high by around 9pm.... :D

VP said...

Swedes always smelt vile didn't they?

Most impressive HM, especially that jagged mouth!

steve said...

You can make working Jack o'lanterns from swedes. But you do need a big swede and a lot of patience. The trick is to cut so much of the middle out that the light shines through the skin as well as through the holes.
But the smell as the candle slowly roasts the lid is horrendous

S

Victoria said...

Brilliant pumpkin! I love the nostrils. We always cheat and do faces that only involve straight lines (so much easier with a knife) so I'm fascinated to know how your
eyes and nose came out so well.

Titania said...

You have done so well. It looks really cute( I am not sure if you really want to hear this) and not scary at all. It really has an expression of benevolence which is rare to see! I think you have started a new trend here, not scaring the kiddies.

HappyMouffetard said...

Liz - thanks. Yes, it's jack. We've only had 3 trick or treaters so far, so have started eating the treats ourselves now.

VP thanks :)

Steve - you almost convinced me to try swede carving again, but your last sentence put me right off again.

Victoria, after asking fro advice on Twitter, I used a bradawl to puncture a shape out then randomly stabbed until the bradawled piece fell out. Probably a little dangerous, but effective.

Titania - I'm rather glad he looks cute and benevolent. Seems to have kept the kids away though!

Rothschild Orchid said...

He is so cool :o)

I wanna have a go now!

Anna said...

A most snazzy pumpkin ! I have never tried the carving lark for fear of loosing a finger. Hope that you are not too full with chocolate goodies,

Wendy said...

wow, this is gorgeous - espeically considering it was your first time. I think the trick is that you need one of those little kits you can get at the supermarket. There's a little tool that makes perforations, then the little tiny saw like knives. They're sharp, but it works so well, a kid could do it. Much easier than a kitchen knife.

It looks like the pumpkin king from the nightmare before christmas. Great pumpkin!

Ryan said...

That's one very impressive pumpkin! Good effort. I didn't carve one this year but wish I had now as yours has given me pumpkin envy!

I cannot even begin to think how disgusting carving a swede must be. Hands would smell for days! lol

Ryan

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Very cool
:)
K

easygardener said...

A success I would say. The picture of you doing a trial run in the garage made me smile.

Nutty Gnome said...

That is a great pumpkin HM, I think I've got pumpkin envy!

For some reason we don't get any trick or treaters here ..... couldn't possibly be related to having to go up a long, dark, steep, spooky drive when you can't actually see the house, could it?

Do you remember Mischevious Night on 30th October? - or was that just a Yorkshire thing?!

Gail said...

Happy, That is a wonderful carving! I hope the visitors appreciated it! gail

chaiselongue said...

He has a rather rakish grin, I think. I hope the children enjoyed it. I definitely agree about not carving swedes - Lo Jardinièr once broke the blade of one of my best kitchen knives carving a swede for our children. Many years ago, but not forgotten yet!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Great choice, and great job - I made a Jack Skellington jack o'lantern too. I like yours better, it looks like it was easier to do than the way I did mine. I hope you toasted those pumpkin seeds. There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh pumpkin seeds.

fairegarden said...

Hi Happy, job well done! Glad no injuries resulted either. I love the expression on his face too. We used to always use a kitchen knife and have cut ourselves many times, blood on the pumpkin adds to the ambience. Now they have these little plastic cheapo carving kits that really do a much better job, although the little saws break with too much pressure. We used them for the first time this year and were surprised at how they work. I hate to leave this smiling grin to continue blog visiting before going out to plant bulbs. :-)
Frances

Scott Keir said...

Swede carving! Yes, I remember doing that as a child - I wonder if it is a Scottish thing? They do stink, but can be fun. Thanks for the memory!